UWAS Vietnam Project 2004

Funded by Lee Foundation
A seminar on
"Corporate & Cross Cultural Communication in Modern Business"
Presented jointly with Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industries
8 & 9 June 2004
UWAS agreed to send a team of three trainers, Brenda Goh, Serene Low and Marianne Teo to the host country of Vietnam to conduct a seminar on "Corporate & Cross Cultural Communication in Modern Business".

The 2-day event was held in the premises of Tray Hotel in HaiPhong City. Some 117 participants attended this seminar, of which 69% were women and 26% were students. The participants were divided into two groups; one group attended both morning sessions and another group attended both afternoon sessions. The trainers repeat the same presentation for both groups of participants. The seminar begins with an opening ceremony and speeches by Ms Brenda Goh representing UWAS and Mr. Phi Van Duc, General Manager of VCCI. The media came and documented the event with a short coverage of in the local newspaper and TV media.

Here is the translation of the article from the newspaper HaiPhong Security published on June 11, 2004. The article can be found at the lower right corner of the scanned file.

Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HaiPhong: Training on Cross-Cultural Communication.
Written by TH

On June 8-9, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HaiPhong organized a training workshop on cross-cultural communication. This workshop taught communication techniques to businesspersons to be more effective in international business dealings.

More than 120 participants attended the workshop that was led by speakers from University Women´s Association in Singapore. With current communication means like telephone, fax, and email, the cross-cultural communication skill will help businesspersons to accurately know the business partners, to distinguish between true/false, good/bad, and finally to be able to make timely and appropriate business decision.

Day One, 8th June 2004 (Morning and Afternoon)
(Conducted in English with translation into Vietnamese)

Skills like Business Dealings, Negotiations and Questions Handling were presented. An exercise was then handed out to the participants to express phrases in a better manner to create a greater impact in communication.

Culture difference is apparent in all societies and Cross-Cultural Communication is a common occurrence in today´s business dealings. Recognizing cultural differences in all overseas contacts and respecting them is an effective way of communication. Besides all the communication skills that one may have, it is also important to note the body language one is projecting. Great care taken in appearance, poise and posture, gestures and expressions are emphasized to be important in gaining respect and confidence in communication.

Day Two, 9th June 2004 (Morning and Afternoon)
(Conducted in English with translation into Vietnamese)

At the end of the whole seminar, questions and answers sessions were open to the floor. Participants showed appreciation of the efforts put in the seminar and lamented that it would have been better if the sessions could be longer to cover all the topics in greater depth. Questions ranging from what UWAS does to how to do business with the outside world were asked. Though the speakers could not claim to be experts in the business world, generic tips were given like understanding oneself and others, having the ´X-factor´ of drive, energy and opportunities, acquiring good interpersonal and language skills were some of the components of success suggested. At the end of this, Certificates of Attendance and Singapore key chain souvenirs were then handed out to all participants and group photos taken.

VCCI ended the day with an eye-opening presentation to the speakers and its delegates introducing Haiphong City and its upcoming developing infrastructure and potential business opportunities. Their business information portal may be found in http://www.vnemart.com.vn/. Thereafter, all adjourned to a sumptuous dinner at an exotic eating-house with the compliments of VCCI.

On the following 3 days, the speakers and delegates went on a private tour in Haiphong, Halong Bay and Catba Island. Halong Bay is one of the four world heritage sites in Vietnam. Famous for its picturesque bays, beaches, limestone caves, grottos and seafood, the troupe enjoyed themselves tremendously in sightseeing, hiking and deep-sea swimming and shopping.

We document our special thanks to the Lee Foundation for the sponsorship of this event, to Prof. Wayne Hung for spending many hours in translating the course materials and the direct translations of our speeches and course presentations and to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industries (VCCI) for facilitating the logistics of the event.

Survey forms were handed out at the end of the seminar for participants to give their feedback on quality of this workshop.

Participants Profiles and Survey Feedback
Course FeedbackAverage Morning ScoreAverage Afternoon Score
Training Duration 4.1 3.4
Organisation of the lecture4.4 4.1
Practicality4.4 4.2
Seminar hand out4.34.1
Facility 4.3 4.5
Teaching Effectiveness 4.5 4.4
Total Scoring 4.3 4.1
Scoring Table: 1 = Poor to 5 = Excellent

Participants Profile: No%
University Students30 26%
Hotel, Tourist & Service25 21%
Trading26 22%
Manufacturing & Retailing2017%
Construction & Shipbuilding7 6%
Misc9 8%
Total Participants117100%